Caller ID -- a weekly HIPAA message

March 11, 2003

picture disc.HIPAA, the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," provides federal protection of patient health information. You will be receiving weekly messages to help you understand the topic and how it impacts your job. Today's HIPAA message explains how to verify who is calling for protected health information.

Question:

How can I verify who a caller is?

Answer:

If the caller is unknown to you, before disclosing PHI (protected health information), make a reasonable effort to verify their identity. Some possible methods would be to ask them questions such as patient address, social security number, patient birth date or other information that such a caller should know.

If the caller is from an agency or organization, you could have them fax you the request for information on their company letterhead or fax their business card.

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If you're a manager, please ensure all of your employees are informed of the contents of these messages and how it applies to your work area. Some ways of sharing the information include discussions during staff meetings, printing and posting this message or asking your employees if they have any further questions.